Wendt Foundation Supports Daemen Visual & Performing Arts Center

Daemen Visual & PerformingArts Center Receives $75,000 from The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation  

August 10, 2012

Mike Andrei
                 Director-College Relations

           Daemen College has received a $75,000 grant from The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation. The College will use the funds in the completion of the new Daemen Visual & Performing Arts Center.

           The Center is retrofitted into the structure of the former Marian Library on the Daemen campus. It is designed to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification utilizing "green"technology and geothermal heating to contain energy costs. 

           Among many innovative features built into the $5.4 million Center are an interactive performance/lecture space with seating for 50 utilizing high-resolution projection and state-of-the-art smart board technology, and flexible studio space for  instruction and theatrical performances, with moveable walls to allow transformation of one large studio into three smaller ones.

           A second floor, dedicated to graphic design, will house a large, open production space as well as computer labs and faculty offices.           

           "We are extremely grateful to The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation for their strong support of the Daemen College Visual & Performing Arts Center," said Daemen President Dr. Edwin Clausen.

           "The Center will bring the visual and performing arts together in a single building designed to showcase the arts at Daemen College. In addition, it will strengthen the ties between the College arts community and the community at large, providing a home for the arts for students and members of the general public. We are very pleased to have The Wendt Foundation with us in this exciting new project." 

           "The Center will give our faculty and students the physical space to reach great artistic heights, and will meet the demands of growing enrollment in the arts programs at Daemen," noted Dr. Laura Sommer, Daemen director of Visual & Performing Arts.

           "The Center will feature public spaces for viewing art and attending lectures and performances, combined with an art resource center housing videos and thousands of images for use by students and scholars from the wider community."

           The Visual & Performing Arts Center will sit adjacent to the new Daemen College Research & Information Commons (RIC). Like the RIC, the Visual & Performing Arts Center is being designed with features to conserve energy, water, and other resources; maximize the use of recycled materials; and minimize the use of toxic materials. By using the existing exterior structure of the former Marian Library, the Center will also make efficient use of this space without expanding the College's footprint.

The inspiration:

           More than six decades ago the late Sr. Jeanne File, OSF, established the Art Department at Rosary Hill College. Through a career spanning nearly 50 years, she taught and inspired generations of students, preparing them to take their places in the classroom, the arts community, and the world at large. Today, Sr. Jeanne is remembered with affection and deep gratitude by her former students, and the program she founded continues to flourish.

           To meet the demands of growing enrollment in its arts programs, Daemen College has embarked on an exciting venture that will carry forward the legacy and lifework of Sr. Jeanne. It will bring the visual and performing arts together in a dedicated center designed to showcase the arts and fire the imagination.

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